Monday, October 7, 2013

The Perfect Fall Dessert - Caramel Apple Layer Cake with Apple Cider Frosting (recipe)

I made this cake a few days ago, and pulled it out for dessert when we had company over. It was a huge hit. The cake is perfectly dense, moist, and balanced with flavor and sweetness. It pairs deliciously with a mug of hazelnut coffee or black vanilla tea (my favorite warm drinks). You could certainly take it to the next level and serve it alongside hot apple cider!  Regardless, know ahead of time that it is enormous. I plan to slice the rest of it up and share it with friends. It was pretty easy to make and uses a lot of ingredients typically on hand in the fall. Also? The secret to finishing it off is letting it set in the refrigerator after icing it. Enjoy!

Caramel Apple Layer Cake with Apple Cider Frosting

{Taken from A Hint Of Honey & Adapted from Whole Foods Market Recipe}

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1½ tsp. baking soda
1½ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. salt
1½ cups light brown sugar
¾ cup canola oil
¾ cup unsweetened applesauce
¾ cup caramel sauce (homemade or jarred)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 eggs
1½ cups buttermilk
Apple Cider Frosting:
7 1/2-8 cups confectioners’ sugar (to desired consistency)
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
1/2 cup apple cider or apple juice
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour two (8 or 9 inch) round cake pans and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together whole wheat pastry flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside. In a second large bowl, beat sugar and oil together with an electric mixer until well combined, about 30 seconds. Add applesauce, caramel and vanilla, beat for 30 seconds, then add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the buttermilk, and continuing to beat until well combined.
3. Pour batter into prepared cake pans and bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle of each cake comes out clean, about 35-40 minutes. Set aside to let cool for 10 minutes, then gently loosen cakes and turn out onto a cooking rack; set aside to let cool completely.
4. For the frosting, put sugar, butter, cider, cinnamon and salt into a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Arrange one cake on a large plate and spread about 1 cup of the frosting evenly over the top. Arrange second cake on top then frost top and sides of entire cake with remaining frosting. Set aside at room temperature or in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour to allow frosting to set before serving.
Makes a tall 2-layer, 8-9 inch round cake.

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